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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND PRODUCER PROFITABILITY

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Alternating the Shank Location on a Paratill Every Other Year Provides Some Benefits

Authors
item Arriaga, Francisco
item Balkcom, Kipling
item Donoghue, Ann
item Kornecki, Ted

Submitted to: Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2007
Publication Date: June 27, 2007
Citation: Arriaga, F.J., Balkcom, K.S., Raper, R.L., Kornecki, T.S. 2007. Alternating the Shank Location on a Paratill Every Other Year Provides Some Benefits. In: Wright, D.L., Marsis, J.J., Scanbou, K.S., editors. Proceedings of the Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference, June 25-27, 2007, Quincy, Florida. p. 3-6.

Interpretive Summary: Non-inversion tillage operations with bent-leg equipment are a common conservation tillage practice in the Southeast. However, the orientation of the bent-leg is typically left unchanged. Alternating the orientation of the bent-leg on the tillage implement every other year could result in a greater volume of soil disrupted below ground, and thus, improved root growth, water use, and yields. A corn-cotton rotation study was initiated in 2004 on a costal plain soil, near Shorter, Alabama. Data were not available until 2005 because of the alternating orientation tillage treatment. There were no differences in corn yield the first two years of the study. Total rainfall for the May to August period in 2006 was low. Differences in soil moisture between treatments during both growing seasons were small. However, there were significant differences in cotton yield. The alternating orientation treatment increased cotton yield by 7% in 2005 and 32% in 2006. Soil density data collected at the end of both seasons suggest that the alternating orientation treatment loosens a greater volume of soil. Since conservation tillage operations are typically needed on an annual basis, moving the bent-leg orientation every other year can increase profitability of cotton producers.

Technical Abstract: Paratill operations are usually conducted with the shanks placed in the same location year after year, disrupting the same volume of soil. Moving the location of the shanks on the toolbar so they alternate from the previous year’s location can potentially increase the volume of soil disrupted below ground. A corn-cotton rotation study was initiated in 2004 at the Field Crops Unit of the E.V. Smith Agricultural Research Center, near Shorter, AL. Data were not available until 2005 because of the timing of the alternating shank location tillage treatment. There were no differences in corn yield the first two years of the study. Total rainfall for the May to August period in 2006 was low (13.0). Differences in soil moisture between treatments during both growing seasons were small. However, there were significant differences in cotton yield. The alternating shank location produced greater cotton yield both years, 203 lb/ac greater (3,012 vs. 2,809 lb/ac) in 2005, and 475 lb/ac greater (1,978 vs. 1,503 lb/ac) in 2006. Soil penetration resistance data collected at the end of both seasons suggest that the alternating shank location treatment loosens a greater volume of soil. The alternating shank location could show some benefits to corn in future years.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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